Not Scared to Die (1973)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2012-09-27
Summary: Lame basher with limited Chan...
Known to most of the Western world as some variation of “Eagle Shadow Fist,” Not Scared to Die is unfortunately a typical basher with heaps of anti-Japanese sentiment piled on top. The star of this film is not Jackie Chan (big surprise), but Wong Ching, mostly seen in Shaw Brothers films in a villainous role. In this he plays the leader of an opera troupe that gets wrapped up in an underground battle against Japanese occupiers. Two Japanese soldiers (Alex Lung and an unidentified actor) are sent to infiltrate the group and kill the leaders. Teaming up with a local gang, they terrorize the townsfolk and basically wreak havoc. Wong Ching and Jackie (playing his protege) decide that fighting back and dying is better than taking the abuse, and they drag the rest of the willing town members with them, only to be betrayed and set up for a deadly ambush.

Not Scared to Die is not a movie that can be recommended. It’s included in tons of Jackie Chan movie collections simply because he appears in it, but his role is relatively small. Being a basher, there are no opportunities for Jackie to show his free-slowing kung fu skills and he looks physically tied down to the hard styles used. This is especially surprising considering the action choreographer was Yuen Cheung-Yan, a member of the famed Yuen clan who are generally known for exquisite shape-based martial arts direction. For the most part though there are repetitious scenes of fights, recoveries, double-dealing schemes and monstrous actions by Japanese characters that leave you with no sympathy. Their final act before the eventual destruction at the hands of Wong Ching is so over-the-top as to almost be ridiculous. As has been said for many of his early films, for Jackie Chan completists only.

Reviewer Score: 3